As a 33-year card-carrying member of the news media, I don’t mind telling you that the media are failing this country. Miserably. Perhaps fatally.
Forget for a moment the fact that the line between reporting and advocacy has been almost completely erased, at least on national TV. Set aside any double standard or political bias you perceive.
These are valid concerns, but the biggest problem with today’s news media is their horrible vision: They can’t see more than a couple of 24-hour news cycles ahead, and can’t focus for long on matters of major importance.
While they’re running from sensational story to sensational story, they’ve almost universally dropped any reporting on the continued major changes – and challenges – to health care. They never talk about the looming debt crisis and the effect it might have on our already-crippled economy.
Most media outlets never question, for a minute, one red cent the government is spending. When the government claims it needs more money, the media not only don’t question it, they cheerlead for the government.
And that brings us to the No. 1 failing of the media: They simply are ignoring the unmitigated immorality of leaving future generations with perhaps $117 trillion in debt or more — $17 trillion in accumulated deficits, growing by the second, and as much as $100 trillion or more in future unfunded debts for Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare.
They’re not telling you that minor repairs to entitlement spending could be done rather easily now, but that we will crush our children and grandchildren with interest-laden debt, and impoverish our senior years, if something isn’t done soon.
Why aren’t Americans being told this every day? Why isn’t the immorality of racking up massive debt on our children’s credit cards being discussed every week?
Why aren’t young people being told by their teachers, their elected leaders and all the movie and music celebrities they worship that their parents are taking loans from their future paychecks – loans that will be left for the young and future-born to repay?
Why are the media allowing all this to go on with nary a comment?
And aren’t they complicit by their silence?
Michael Ryan is editorial page editor at The Augusta (GA.) Chronicle, and executive director of the new Morris Civics Initiative, which aims to help create a renaissance of American responsibility and civics.